How to land your dream desk job today

Last updated: May 28, 2024
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Eleana Bowman
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How to land your dream desk job today
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Have you always wanted to work a desk job but felt intimidated by where to start your search?

Desk jobs come in all shapes and sizes. Nearly all fields and industries need people behind a desk to keep things running smoothly. While some desk jobs require advanced degrees and years of experience, it’s possible to get a desk job even without a degree.

Let’s explore what it means to work an office job, how you can benefit from this type of employment, and how to get a desk job today.

What is a desk job?

A desk job is an umbrella term for any position that involves working in an office setting. These types of jobs may also be called white-collar jobs. White-collar jobs have traditionally needed some form of higher education, but this is not always the case.

In today’s working climate, most desk jobs will involve a computer, but the level of skill and experience you need with computers will vary depending on the role.

Keep in mind that not all desk jobs have the same type of workspace. While some companies will separate workstations using cubicles or offices, others will use an open floor plan, in which no walls or barriers separate the workers. You may also work at a large shared table instead of a desk.

Additionally, some traditional desk jobs are now available as work-from-home positions. While some companies will expect you to have your own computer to work remotely, others will provide you with the equipment you need.

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5 examples of entry-level desk jobs

There are countless desk job opportunities available. Some require no experience at all, while others will require some training or certifications.

Here are five examples of entry-level desk jobs where the minimum requirement is a high school diploma or a GED.

1. Receptionist

A receptionist greets people who arrive at an office and answers the phone. They’re also in charge of handling many incoming emails and forwarding them to the appropriate people.

Receptionists need to be comfortable with basic computer software, including:

  • Word processors like Microsoft Word or Google Docs

  • Spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets

  • Email inbox software like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail

Receptionists make a median wage of $14.40 per hour. Although many companies won’t require a college degree when hiring a receptionist, it’s important to have strong communication and organizational skills.

2. Administrative assistant

Administrative assistants, as the name suggests, assist their colleagues and managers with administrative duties. These can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Planning and booking meetings, trips, and other events

  • Writing and distributing emails, memos, letters, and other types of correspondence

  • Assisting in the preparation of reports

  • Answering and directing phone calls

  • Filing documents, both digitally and physically

Some administrative assistant duties may overlap with receptionist duties. In smaller companies, an office may decide to only hire a single employee to perform both positions. However, in larger companies, managers and executives may each have one or more assistants dedicated to helping them.

Additionally, administrative assistants may work as virtual assistants when they work remotely. Some firms specialize in hiring virtual assistants to offer administrative services to companies on a contract basis.

Administrative assistants make a median pay of $19.08 per hour. You need to be highly organized and have a good ability to multitask if you want to perform well in this job.

3. Customer service representative

Customer service representatives are responsible for helping customers. They answer the phone, communicate via email, or chat online to assist customers with their needs.

To work as a customer service representative, you need to be helpful and friendly when interacting with customers. This is another job that can be done efficiently while remote.

Customer service representatives make a median wage of $17.75 per hour.

4. Content writer

Content writers are responsible for researching and writing content such as blog posts, articles, email newsletters, and more. The content they write is usually customer-facing, but some technical writers may also work on documentation and internal processes.

While content writing is an entry-level position, you need strong writing skills to get this job. You also need great attention to detail and an ability to research and fact-check your sources.

Content writing positions are available in a variety of formats, including but not limited to:

  • In an office setting

  • Work-from-home

  • Freelance

  • Contract work

Writers make a median pay of $33.42 per hour. Many companies require a bachelor’s degree, but if you’re able to showcase your writing skills via a strong portfolio, that will be enough to get hired in many instances.

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5. Data entry clerk

A data entry clerk types information into databases and verifies this data for accuracy.

If you’re a fast typer but aren’t particularly skilled at content writing (or don’t enjoy this work), working in data entry could be a good option for you. That’s because most employers don’t require previous experience for this position.

If you’re looking for a side-gig or part-time position, working in data entry is a great option. That’s because many companies will hire data entry workers and pay them per volume of work instead of per hour. So, if you only have ten hours a week to dedicate to this position, you don’t need to go full-time.

On average, data entry keyers and clerks make $17.28 per hour. This amount will vary significantly based on how quickly you can work.

6 benefits of working in an office job

Not sold on the idea of a desk job yet? Here are six reasons why you should consider an office job.

1. Rely on routine

Most desk jobs are based on routine. Yes, there are exceptions — but you can usually plan your days well in advance when you have a desk job.

That’s why desk jobs are great if you’re a person who thrives on routine.

2. Avoid physical strain

You won’t need to be on your feet all day or lift heavy objects at a desk job. However, you need to make sure you get up and stretch your legs often enough.

You also need to have a comfortable workstation to avoid neck or back strain. With enough breaks and an ergonomic desk and chair, office work can be much more comfortable than standing jobs.

3. Lower risk of poor cognition later in life

According to the University of Cambridge, physically inactive jobs like desk jobs are associated with a lower risk of developing poor cognition later in life. This is irrespective of your level of education.

For this reason, switching to an office job could be a good option for older workers.

4. Opportunity for personal and professional growth

You’ll work closely with people who do a variety of tasks and have different responsibilities while you work a desk job.

In an office environment, you can learn from others and explore different fields. For instance, if you’re a receptionist, you’re likely to come across:

  • Bookkeepers

  • Buyers

  • IT workers

  • Customer service representatives

  • Project managers

  • Managers

You’ll also work closely with people in other professions, depending on what type of company you work at. This means you can use and develop your skills across different teams.

5. You can work from home

Many offices hire people to work from home. Because your work typically only requires a computer and an Internet connection, you can work from almost anywhere.

You can save time and money by cutting out your commute!

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6. Better networking opportunities

If you work in a medium to large company, you’ll share an office (or chat room) with people of all levels. You can use this as an opportunity to network with them.

Later, you can leverage these connections to find other job opportunities.

How to get a desk job with no experience

If you’ve decided working in an office is a good fit for you, follow these steps to land your perfect desk job.

1. Get clear about the field you want to work in

There are so many office job fields available, including but not limited to:

  • Accounting

  • Administration

  • Medical

  • Legal

  • Logistics

  • Tech

Nearly all of these fields employ all the entry-level positions covered above.

Consider what interests you and what your personality is like. Next, look at career paths available in these fields. Think long-term — where would you like to be five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty?

The type of career path you want — and the activities that fulfill you the most — can help determine both the industry and type of position to look for in a desk job.

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2. Survey your skills

Look at your previous experience, professional or not. You can include volunteer experiences, clubs in high school, and other activities you’ve done throughout your life.

Survey what skills you’ve gained from these experiences. What can be applied to the desk jobs you want?

For example, participating in a high school drama club can help develop communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability. Those skills can be applied to many office positions, such as a customer service representative or administrative assistant.

3. Develop additional skills

Some desk jobs will require skills that you don’t yet have. Some important skills to have in a desk job, regardless of the position, include the following:

  • Strong organization

  • Critical thinking

  • Ability to learn quickly

  • Basic computer literacy

  • Time management

  • Attention to detail

  • Ability to stay focused for extended periods

Many of these are soft skills. However, depending on the position you want, you may need to develop hard skills, too. For instance, content writing requires strong research and writing skills, while data entry requires fast and accurate typing skills.

During the application process, you could be asked to perform a skills test. This might include a typing test or performing a mock customer service call using a script.

4. Prepare your resume and cover letter

Now, it’s time to write your resume. Include your top skills and description of relevant experience, whether it’s professional or personal.

Write a generic cover letter to start. You can use this as a template for your custom cover letters during the application process.

5. Find and apply for desk job opportunities

Search on Jobcase for job listings in your area. Or, if you want remote-only jobs, you can use the filter to search for remote opportunities.

To find more job opportunities, tap into your network or attend networking events and job fairs. Once you’ve found the job you want, it’s time to start the application process.

You will probably be required to submit a resume and cover letter. If you have a Jobcase account you can use our resume builder tool to automatically create a professional-looking resume based on the information in your profile.

6. Customize your resume and cover letter for each application

You should edit and customize your resume for every unique job application. Write a unique career objective and highlight the skills the employer requires.

Make sure to also customize your cover letter. Add details about why you’d be a good fit for that specific company.

7. Prepare for common interview questions

Landed a job interview? Take time to prepare for some of the most common interview questions.

The specifics will depend on the company, its values, and the role you’re applying for. But it helps to know about the basics. Look at the job listing and company website for more insight.

Read here to find out about the 17 most common interview questions and how to answer them.

8. Dress to impress

Research the company to find out what their dress code is like. Dress one notch higher for the interview

For example, if the company is business casual, go with executive casual or business formal. If they’re executive casual, go for business formal. If they’re casual (t-shirt and jeans), aim for business casual.

It’s better to overdress than to underdress for a job interview.

9. Follow up after each interview

Once your interview is over, send a thank-you note via email. You can send this first follow-up one day after your interview.

If you don’t hear back from the hiring manager after a certain amount of time, send another follow-up email to showcase your continued interest and willingness to provide more information if needed.

The amount of time to wait before you follow up depends on what you were told to expect. For instance, don’t follow up after a week if the hiring manager said you’d hear back within ten working days.

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Find your dream desk job no matter your experience level

If you want to work in an office, there’s a perfect desk job opportunity out there for you. Find more office work opportunities by joining Jobcase and connecting with other workers to expand your network — you can even get notified when job listings open up near you.

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